Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gadgie #25

By Marv
PO Box 93
PE21 7YB

Ah, Gadgie zine. The perfect reading material for people that love page after page of tiny text with no paragraph breaks.

I'm being a little harsh, as some of the content here is quite good, but turning the page and seeing two solid columns of tiny text with no breaks is kind of daunting to start reading. I think the reading experience would definitely be improved by Marv starting to use the return key a bit more frequently.

Gadgie is a punk music zine, and like many zines in that sub-genre it includes numerous reviews of cds, records, and shows, interviews with people in the punk scene, rants, and general news about the punk scene in and around the town where the creator lives (in this case Boston, UK). It's probably far more interesting if you listen to a lot of punk music, and always want to find new bands that you'd never hear on the radio or see on TV, but that's not really me.

Of course, there is other content in here that is pretty good even if you have no interest in punk music or culture. Marv writes huge stream-of-consciousness pieces about traveling, his youth, and other things. They're filled with constant asides and distractions, and are a lot like listening to someone talk.

The best piece in here is, much to my surprise, a music review. But unlike short music reviews of a particular album, this one is a huge piece of Marv's attempt to listen to his entire record collection in alphabetical order. You see, after discussing with a friend their huge record collections, Marv realized he didn't really listen to most of it that often, so he began a quest to listen to all of it, discovering lost gems, and wondering why he even owned other albums.

For whatever reason, people seem to be into the idea of other people completing (or attempting to complete) marathons of popular culture. There's an entire book trilogy about two guys who spent a year watching every existing episode of Doctor Who in order, and I have a weird desire to read them even though I don't like Doctor Who that much.

Marv's account of his attempt to listen to all of his records is filled with asides and stories about how he bought the record in question, anecdotes about the band, and other random things. And thus in the two pages that this piece takes up Marv manages to get through the letter 'A'. However it did feature my favourite part of the issue:
"On a similar theme, the folks at work were reminiscing in the staff room about their youth, as people of a certain age are liable to (ahem) and someone started fondly recalling how you used to buy records! Someone piped up that the first record they bought was an Adam And The Ants single. I kept it quiet that the last record I bought was an Adam And The Ants single (20pence worth of car booty)!"
The last record I got (in 2009) was also an Adam and the Ants record. Stand and Deliver!

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